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News Briefs / Walla Walla & Columbia Counties

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  • Time to send us your Valentine messages

    The Times|Feb 1, 2024

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  • Scholarships available to future educators.

    The Times|Jan 18, 2024

    WALLA WALLA & COLUMBIA COUNTIES – The Washington State School Retirees Association (WSSRA) and the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association (WWCRA) are offering scholarships to future educators planning to do student teaching, internships, and plan on teaching in the state. Washington State School Retirees Association has the following scholarships for Washington State high school seniors: Robert J Handy Scholarship is $900 annually for four years. WWSRA Foundation Scholarships are two one-time scholarships, for $3000 and $2000. Gene Fo...

  • CWWFD # 2 honored with Gesa Credit Union's Local Heroes Grant

    The Times|Nov 9, 2023

    Waitsburg — Columbia-Walla Walla County Fire District # 2 received a Local Heroes Grant of $10,000 from the Gesa Community Foundation. The CWWFD #2 purchase new radios for the department with the funds. The radios will be used to outfit new volunteers and replace existing aging radios. “Gesa is honored to support the Local Heroes in our community whose selfless dedication and unwavering commitment betters the lives of those across Washington,” said Don Miller, President and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. “We are inspired by the remarkable efforts...

  • Rabid Bats Found in Columbia and Walla Walla Counties

    The Times|Jul 6, 2023

    Columbia County—Rabid bats were identified in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties in June. Columbia County Health Department received notification on June 28, 2023 from the Washington State Public Health Laboratory of a bat presumed to have rabies. There was human exposure to this bat and the exposed person is undergoing preventative treatment from a healthcare provider. This is the first positive case of rabies in a bat in Columbia County for several years, according to the CCHD. In addition, Walla Walla and King Counties each had one rabid b... Full story

  • Student Scholarships available now

    The Times|Jan 12, 2023

    WALLA WALLA, COLUMBIA COUNTIES—Now is the time for high school and college students to apply for scholarships. The Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association scholarship (WSSRA) offers a variety of scholarships to support future educators. The Robert J. Handy and the WSSR Foundation scholarships are available to high school seniors seeking a career in education. That includes a teacher, counselor, speech therapist, occupational therapist, or psychologist. To get more information about the scholarships are available on the WSSRA website a... Full story

  • Burn ban announced for CWWFD2

    Beka Compton, The Times|Jul 21, 2022

    WAITSBURG—Columbia-Walla Walla Fire District 2 announced that a burn ban will go into effect on Monday, July 25. The ban is in effect in the entire district, including the City of Waitsburg. This is an annual precaution, interim fire chief Colter Mohney shared. This year, the ban will go into effect approximately two-weeks later than normal, as the area experienced unusual levels of precipitation earlier this year. For further questions regarding the burn ban, contact CWWCFD2 at c... Full story

  • Columbia REA announces More Powerful Together Community Grant program

    The Times|Jul 14, 2022

    Columbia REA is currently accepting applications for its 2022 More Powerful Together Community Grant Program. Grant funding will be available to selected organizations from Milton-Freewater, Or., Walla Walla County, and Columbia County. The goal of the grant program is to make a one-time donation to one or more organizations that serve our communities. The maximum grant amount will be $10,000. • Applications will be accepted between Monday, July 11, and 5:30 pm, Thursday, August 18. Applications received after 5:30 pm on August 18, 2022, w...

  • YWCA Fun Factory is back for the summer

    The Times|Jun 23, 2022

    Walla Walla Valley-Fun Factory is a mobile summer recreation program that brings fun outdoor activities for kids 5-10(ish) to the Walla Walla Valley communities. This year the YWCA program will bring the fun to Prescott Park, Preston Park in Waitsburg, and Dayton's Memorial Library, and The Club on Mondays. Look for the white Fun Factory van and meet the program leaders, who will be easy to spot with their brightly colored tie-dyed shirts. Last year's participants will remember Ana Rubie,... Full story

  • New report tracks risk of COVID-19 reinfection in Washington state

    The Times|Jan 13, 2022

    OLYMPIA—Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has published a new weekly report that provides an insight into COVID-19 reinfections. This report includes information on hospitalizations and deaths, demographics, trends over time, and vaccination status of people with reinfection, where DOH has information about both infection events. Reinfection cases are patients who recovered from a COVID-19 infection and became infected again. A person reinfected with COVID-19 could be fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or unvaccinated. This r... Full story

  • Martin Luther King, Jr Day is this Monday January 17, 2022

    The Times|Jan 13, 2022

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not just a day off, it is designated as a day of service. It is a day to think about your community and the dream you have for the future. Pick a project that helps your neighbors, schools, parks, or healthcare workers. • Take time to nominate someone for the upcoming Waitsburg Commercial Club Awards. email your nominations to • Collect items for Waitsburg Flood Relief Committee, including safety goggles, reflector vests, basic first aid kit... Full story

  • Area students named to UW Dean's list

    The Times|Jun 24, 2021

    SEATTLE—Students from Dayton, Pomeroy and Prescott were named to the Dean’s List at the University of Washington for Winter 2021 Quarter. To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must have completed at least 12 graded credits and have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (out of 4). Students are notified that they have achieved this distinction when they receive their grades for the quarter. Congratulations to the following students: Sophmore Briseida Yareli Ayala Rebolledo from Prescott Senior Jenna Jeanne Phillips from Dayton Junior Sydne... Full story

  • CWWFD2 Announces Burn Ban

    The Times|Jun 24, 2021

    WAITSBURG—Columbia-Walla Walla Fire District 2 announced that a burn ban will go into effect in the district, including the City of Waitsburg, on July 6. The ban will extend into September, with an end date to be announced.... Full story

  • Eighth Annual SWIM the SNAKE Paddling and Open Water Swim Event

    The Times|Jun 24, 2021

    LYONS FERRY—The eighth annual SWIM the SNAKE event will be held at Lyons Ferry Marina and Lyons Ferry State Park on Saturday, August 14, 2021, beginning at 11 a.m. In addition to the non-competitive, open-water swim, event organizers continue to hold a two-stage, competitive (or non-competitive) relay. Paddling in a kayak or on a paddleboard from Lyons Ferry Marina to Lyons Ferry State Park, across Lake Bryan on the Snake River. Arriving at Lyons Ferry State Park, paddlers can enter the water or tag-team with their “paired swimmer” and swim...

  • Dayton, Prescott and Waitsburg Candidates List

    The Times|May 27, 2021

    City of Waitsburg Candidates Mayor: Incumbent Marty Dunn Kate Hockersmith City Council: Position 1: Incumbent Kevin House Position 2: Incumbent Jim Romine Position 3: Randy Charles Position 4: Incumbent Karen Stanton-Gregutt Court Ruppenthal Position 5: Rebecca Wilson Jillian Henze Waitsburg School Board Candidates District 1: Sarah Boudrieau District 3: Stephanie Cole Ann Miller District 4: Lisa Morrow Fire Protection District 2 Commissioner Position 2: Jake Long Commissioner Position 3: Ashley Strickland Park and Recreation District Commissio...

  • Elementary Students to Release Classroom-Raised Salmon

    The Times|May 20, 2021

    Students from four local schools will release juvenile coho salmon into various streams in the coming weeks. The schools received salmon eggs last October as part of Tri-State Steelheaders Salmon in School program. Since then, the kids have learned first-hand about the salmon lifecycle and environmental science as the fish have grown in their school's tank. "It's fulfilling to see the students make the connection between the science of salmon, and their roles in making a healthy river... Full story

  • 2020 Flood Event, one-year anniversary

    The Times|Feb 4, 2021

    Last year on February 7 our communities suffered considerable flood damage. Local state, county, and city governments, and residents came together to help neighbors and repair damage. Though some of the damaged infrastructure has been repaired, many residents are still concerned about areas of the levees that failed during the flood, sustained further damage during the event, and have not been repaired since. Anyone who has concerns should contact their local Flood Control Zone Districts or...

  • Common Roots Housing Trust to host Zoom town hall

    The Times|Jan 7, 2021

    WALLA WALLA—Common Roots Housing Trust will hold a town hall meeting on Monday, January 11, via Zoom call, at 6:00 p.m. Common Roots Housing Trust is a Walla Walla-based community land trust that has been formed to provide affordable housing options for Walla Walla and Columbia County residents, as well as residents in the Milton Freewater, Ore., area. In a study completed in 2018-19, the Walla Walla Community Council found that more than 52% of Waitsburg renters and 46% of Dayton renters were living in housing that, by definition, was u... Full story

  • The Times' new year includes new office location

    The Times|Jan 7, 2021

    WAITSBURG—Starting January 4, 2021, The Times office will be located inside Ten Ton Coffee, 216 Main Street. The office is currently closed to the public, however, payments related to the newspaper are now being accepted at the front window of Ten Ton Coffee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and subscriptions will remain available for purchase on the website, For questions or inquiries, call The Times at (509) 337-6631.... Full story

  • Pets of the valley

    Beka Compton, The Times|Jan 7, 2021

    Duke had a short stay at the Blue Mountain Humane Society before joining his new family on the farm. Equal parts handsome and goofy, Duke's family raves about him, saying he is the "awesome farm dog" and a "blessing for the family." His hobbies include overseeing day-to-day farm chores, camping, and hanging out with his girl, Katie. Have a pet who deserves recognition? Send a photo and information to to be featured in the Pets of the Valley series.... Full story

  • The Blues V, available for pre-order

    The Times|Dec 24, 2020

    WALLA WALLA—The Blue Mountain Land Trust is thrilled to announce The Blues V, the next volume of The Blues collection of photo books. The Blues V edition features dramatic landscapes of the John Day River Basin by Bill Rodgers and Burien photographer Mark Hussein. This volume contains 30 images of mountains, canyons, rivers, prairies, and the stunning John Day Formation. The photo book is available to preorder at and will be shipping in late-January, just in time for V... Full story

  • Charitable Giving Guide is as easy as two clicks of a mouse

    The Times|Dec 3, 2020

    WALLA WALLA—Last week, The Times and other local newspapers included the Charitable Giving Guide, presented by the Blue Mountain Community Foundation. The Charitable Giving Guide offers a one-stop-shop for donors to select their favorite nonprofits and make one payment through a secure, trusted website. Through a partnership with the All in WA Initiative (, every donation made through the Charitable Giving guide to nonprofits in the BMCF service area in Walla Walla, Columbia, and Garfield counties will receive up to a 100 p...

  • Area schools temporarily return to distance learning

    Beka Compton, The Times|Nov 26, 2020

    Waitsburg, Dayton, and Prescott school districts are battling rising COVID-19 cases and have announced temporary closures or a switch back to virtual learning. COVID-19 cases are rapidly rising in both Columbia and Walla Walla Counties. In Walla Walla County, there were 571 active cases as of Tuesday, November 24. In Columbia County, there are 20 active cases. Confirmed cases in Waitsburg are now up to 18. Prescott School District Prescott School District moved back to the HOPE 1.0 learning... Full story

  • Waitsburg, Dayton and Prescott leaf pickup service for 2020

    The Times|Oct 22, 2020

    Basin Disposal will be picking up bagged leaves for customers in Waitsburg, Dayton and Prescott. The leaf pick-up is not part of the regular garbage route but will be done with a different truck on a separate route. The following are tentative dates: November 23rd, November 30th, and December 7th, all Mondays. Dates are subject to change for any reason. Leaves in bags only, no garbage, rocks, bricks sticks, roofing, etc. Do not overload the bags, 40 pounds is plenty. If you have an alley, place the bags in the alley. If you do not have an...

  • Virtual BooGrass Auction begins October 23

    The Times|Oct 22, 2020

    WAITSBURG-Waitsburg's Rural Youth Enrichment Services (RYES) will host the Virtual BooGrass Auction starting October 23. Log on and bid on items including a Will Writing package donated by Karl Law Office or a Dinner for Four prepared by Chef Daniel Rossi and support the many youth projects offered by RYES. RYES is a non-profit organization established in 2010 to provide the youth of the Touchet Valley with opportunities to experience the arts, develop skills, hone leadership, and participate...

  • BMLT streaming Secret Life of the Forest: The Northern Blue Mountains

    The Times|Sep 24, 2020

    The Blue Mountain Land Trust is excited to announce the on-demand streaming of the thirteen-part series, Secret Life of the Forest: The Northern Blue Mountains. The series explores the natural history of the northern Blue Mountains of Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon. Soak in the massive mountain range’s beauty and splendor and the plants and animals that inhabit this little-known landscape through Mike Denny’s incredible knowledge and Daniel Biggs’ photography. Episodes are available to stream on-demand from your home. Acces...

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